Bachelor's Degree, Psychology, Bethel University
Master's Degree, Business Administration, Aurora University
Sales, John Wiley & Sons
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
As a long standing Planning Commissioner and Chairperson (15 years with six years as its Chairperson), I believe I have more experience vetting development projects than any of the gentlemen running. I have learned it is important to weigh all factors in reviewing projects, including the immediate and long-range impacts as well as the precedents being established. In addition, it is critical to understand and assess the effect any proposed development may have on the whole of our community and not just on one person’s preferences. As a recommending body, I believe the Planning Commission plays a principal role in determining the long-term look and feel of our community. Unlike the movie “Field of Dreams”, which touts that “If you build it they will come”; I found that in planning “If they don’t come, you can’t unbuild it.” Professionally, I have over 20 years in sales, marketing and consulting experience. During 10 of these years I owned a business consulting company. Holding an MBA will also help me lend additional business expertise to the Village Board.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
My top priorities: the Village economy, Housing, and Elburn’s future. Residents feel the economic pinch—overall property taxes are increasing while foreclosures decrease home values. Vacant storefronts reduce potential sales tax revenue. We need to attract new businesses to Elburn! The Comprehensive Land Use Plan update includes new retail, light industry, offices and manufacturing. A robust economy will create momentum for a growing community, not based solely on residential rooftops. Housing –unfinished lots in Blackberry Creek, as well as Elburn Station-significantly impact Elburn. Obviously, there is the tax revenue impact when more households contribute to the revenue side; however, there are additional expense side impacts as well. Elburn needs to wisely plan ensuring new development doesn’t weigh down the Village budgets, but is balanced between benefits vs. cost. We are creating today the legacy we will leave the next generations. Today’s issue set the future course for many years to come. We must be mindful of the foundation we are setting and be protective of the fiscal health of our community. When we do this we will be able to preserve the rich heritage we value. Changes will come--they have to. They must make Elburn stronger, not just bigger.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
The property tax levy needs to remain at its current level. It is frustrating to residents when property taxes and income taxes increase. It is equally frustrating if the quality of expected service diminishes. I believe there must be a balance between incoming revenue and services provided. We are very fortunate Elburn has a low tax percentage (4.5% of one’s total property tax bill). Last year, this percentage increased only 1.9% above the 2010 property tax levy. It is important to remember there are other revenue sources besides property tax in the Village such as utility, income tax and other miscellaneous fees. All these line items contribute to the overall revenues used to provide the high quality of life our residents cherish. Instead of increasing the property tax levy, it is critical to strengthen Elburn coffers by making sure other revenue streams remain active and productive. When expenses are kept within budget, and the board works to strengthen and grow our business community, we will be able to meet our fiscal responsibilities without increases to the Village property tax levy.
What one decision by the village board do you most disagree with and why?
I disagree with the Board for not taking action on implementing an economic development plan. While it is true the Village Board has had its hands full with the Elburn Station proposal and negotiations, a new Police Board, a Police Pension Board and its funding requirements, as well as the day-to-day decisions, there has been the tendency for the tyranny of the urgent to keep the Village Board’s focus off planning for strategic needs. These needs include the short and long term goals of Elburn’s business and residential community. In a recovering economy, it is critical to take an active step in marketing the Village to bring in new retail as well as other business. I firmly believe implementing an Economic Development Commission is necessary. Presently the Village cannot afford hiring a full time Economic Development Director. An Economic Development Commission should be to be comprised of stakeholders such as the Elburn business owners and other residential members who have an interest in strengthening the commercial health of our community.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
The Village Board’s most significant accomplishments were the establishment of a new Police Board, Police Pension Board and providing the required funding for the new municipal police fund all the while holding the line on expenses. These were required by state statute when Elburn’s population exceeded 5,000, and the board achieved this task while holding the line on expenses. It was a challenging fiscal year. I believe it takes an enormous amount of hard work and perspective to balance decision making for the short term that will impact long term growth.
Why should voters elect you to office?
The voters can count on me to bring common sense, as well as government, financial and business experience to the Board on day one. As a long time resident (over twenty years) with experience as a Planning Commissioner, I bring perspective to the development issues at hand. My husband, Mark, and I have raised our sons in Elburn and we are active volunteers in the community. We have enjoyed volunteering through local sports such as Elburn Baseball and Basketball, Kaneland Cagers, and the Kaneland High School Golf programs. When our sons were younger, I volunteered in Cub Scouts Pack 107 as a den leader. When they crossed-over to Boy Scouts Troop 7, I was the advancement coordinator and enjoyed encouraging my two sons on their path to becoming Eagle Scouts. I am also proud of the other young men who I mentored on their path to Eagle. Currently, I am an active member and volunteer at Hosanna Lutheran Church, and have also served at Lazarus House, Hesed House and Feed My Starving Children. I am also a member of the Friends of the Town and Country Library. I appreciate the value of preserving the history and sense of community in our Village and am passionate about the legacy we leave our children and grandchildren.
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